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Coastal and Continental Morphodynamics laboratory

scientific production online repository

The "Coastal and Continental Morphodynamics" laboratory (M2C) is a Joint Research Unit (UMR 6143) created in 1996, under the supervision of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the university of Caen Normandie (UNICAEN) and the university of Rouen Normandy (URN). The staff of the laboratory includes 86 persons: 37 researchers, 21 engineers and technicians, 28 PhD students. The research of the M2C laboratory focuses on the characterization and modeling of natural processes dynamics in different compartments along the LAND-SEA continuum, at different scales of time and space. The research is organized into 5 themes:
  • Watershed
  • Estuary
  • Coastal


This research is carried out with an interdisciplinary approach integrating researchers specialized in mechanics, geosciences, oceanography, hydrology, microbiology and ecology of organisms. Our research combines in-situ measurements with numerous dedicated equipment, experimental approaches and numerical moodeling.

Number of records

1 127


Evolution of records


Last publications

[hal-03350591] Eustatic knickpoint dynamics in an uplifting sequence of coral reef terraces, Sumba Island, Indonesia

An emerged coral reef terrace sequence flanks the northern coast of Sumba Island in Indonesia. The sequence was created by the joint effects of uplift and Quaternary sea level oscillations. Since its emergence, it undergoes chemical erosion, which is facilitated by its carbonate lithology. The morphology is dissected by multiple catchments drained by deep canyons, whose stream profiles display several knickpoints. We applied a multi-methods approach using high-resolution topographic data (Pleiades imagery), geomorphological analysis and denudation rates derived from 36Cl cosmogenic nuclide concentrations to characterize the dynamics of these coastal drainages. We specifically investigate (1) the channel response to eustatic forcing, by analyzing knickpoint dynamics along a longitudinal river profile, and (2) the control of internal and external forcing over the catchment-scale erosion. Firstly, knickpoints form at the distal edge of the emergent reef at each regressive stage following a sea level highstand. The knickpoint propagates and rotates upward by regressive erosion. Knickpoint propagation rate decreases sharply over time until it becomes negligible before the next sea-level rise, which implies a marked decline in knickpoint retreat rate before its resorption. We attribute the inability of the river at Cape Laundi to fully propagate eustatic oscillations to its low stream discharge and low sediment supply, related to its small drainage area, to the karstic nature of the coral reef terraces composing the sequence, and to the high frequency of eustatic forcing. Secondly, average denudation rates calculated from 36Cl cosmogenic nuclide concentrations of sands collected at the outlet of five catchments draining the sequence amount to 69 ± 8 mm·ka−1. We emphasize the role of canyon areas in driving the denudation of the major catchments. However, no first-order correlation has been observed between catchment metrics, uplift rates and denudation rates. Finally, our correlations between catchment finite eroded volumes and uplift rates highlight the tendency of catchments to widen with low uplift rate and to lengthen while incising the sequence deeply with higher uplift rates.

[hal-03341917] The Cuban staircase sequences of coral reef and marine terraces: A forgotten masterpiece of the Caribbean geodynamical puzzle


[hal-03350633] On the generation and degradation of emerged coral reef terrace sequences: First cosmogenic 36Cl analysis at Cape Laundi, Sumba Island (Indonesia)


[hal-03333718] Impacts of climate change on the Bay of Seine ecosystem: Forcing a spatio‐temporal trophic model with predictions from an ecological niche model


[hal-03162682] Late Miocene - Quaternary forearc uplift in southern Peru: new insights from 10 Be dates and rocky coastal sequences


[hal-03318977] Olive groves around the lake. A ten-thousand-year history of a Cretan landscape (Greece) reveals the dominant role of humans in making this Mediterranean ecosystem


[hal-03186763] Evolution of a Holocene banner bank controlled by morphodynamics and structural setting of a macrotidal coast: Saint-Brieuc Bay (NW-Europe)


[hal-03283659] Evolution and internal architecture of an active mixed sand-gravel barrier spit (Somme Bay, Northern France)


[hal-03283734] Internal architecture of coarse-grained barriers in hypertidal environments (France and Argentina): A GPR study


[ineris-03273723] Bioanalytical Characterization and Source Identification of a High Glucocorticoid Contamination in a River Under Urban and Industrial Pressures




International collaboration (co-authors)



M2C lab. in Caen

Morphodynamique Continentale et Côtière
Université de Caen Normandie (Campus 1)
24 rue des Tilleuls
14000 Caen Cedex

M2C lab. in Rouen

Morphodynamique Continentale et Côtière
Université de Rouen Normandie (bâtiment Blondel Nord)
Place Emile Blondel
76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan Cedex